CU a ‘hotbed of militancy’
Publication Date: 17 August, 2016
Media: The Independent
Original URL : CU a ‘hotbed of militancy’
E-paper URL: CU a ‘hotbed of militancy’
Banned militant outfits Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Hizb-ut-Tahrir Bangladesh are allegedly quite active in Chittagong University (CU), and many of their activists are allegedly occupying the 150-odd cottages nearby, thanks to a lack of monitoring.
In recent months, police have arrested eight alleged militants, all students of the university. It is being investigated whether Nurul Islam Marjan, the alleged mastermind behind the Holey Artisan Bakery attack, is a student of the university’s Arabic department. Marjan used to stay in Al-Hear Cottage next to the university’s Zero Point. Sources claimed that all the cottages in the vicinity of the campus are still under the control of the Islami Chhatra Shibir. “Nurul Islam Marjan was an associate (shathi) of the Islami Chhatra Shibir,” said CU assistant proctor Anwar Hossain.
“In November 2015, police raided the cottages next to the university and found some important information stored on the laptop of the then secretary of the Islami Chhatra Shibir’s CU unit. From that data, police came to know that Nurul Islam, a student of the Arabic department’s 2012–2013 session, was a ‘shathi’ of Chhatra Shibir,” he added.
Local sources claimed that many students in the university are involved in militant activities and use the cottages to carry out their activities.
Earlier, a student of the university, who was found to be a militant commander, was injured while making bombs. A former student of the university’s law department left his job as a sub-assistant judge to carry out the activities of Hizb-ut-Tahrir. It is alleged that the university does not take much action to stop militant activities on its campus and at the cottages. The militant outfits are taking advantage of the lack of monitoring. Their activists enrol as students and carry out their work in the safe haven of the cottages.
On a request made by the police, the CU authorities recently submitted a list of six students who were suspected to have militant links and were missing. However, all of them were found later. Strangely, Marjan’s name was not on the list, as his department did not report him albeit he has been absent since February 14, 2015.
“It is impossible to say how many cottages there are near the university. We conducted raids at all the cottages three months ago and recovered a huge quantity of arms. Had Marjan been in a cottage, he would have been arrested. We don’t know the exact number of students living in the cottages, but we’re keeping watch,” said Md Mosi-ud-Daula Reza, additional superintendent of police (North) of Chittagong District.
Prof. Iftekhar Uddin Chowdhury, vice-chancellor of CU, told The Independent, “We’re trying to find out who on the campus were involved with the militants. Those who were found to be involved with the JMB have been suspended. Whoever is being arrested for having links with the Hizb-ut-Tahrir will be rusticated.”
“We’ve asked the owners of the cottages to let us know if they get a whiff of any suspicious activities going on in their cottages. We’re also collecting information about all students who live in the cottages. They have to fill in a form giving their details,” he said. In July, police arrested Abdur Nur, 22, son of Abdur Rashid of Patiya upazila of Chittagong, suspecting that he had militant links. He was arrested from Shimakhali area of Magura district. Nur was a student of the mathematics department of CU. He is now in jail.
On December 27, 2015, the Detective Branch of police arrested three CU students of the physics department from Ishak Bhaban at Amanbazar area under Hathazari police station. They were allegedly in possession of an MK-11 high-precision semi-automatic sniper rifle, a large quantity of bullets, explosives and military outfits.
The trio was Naimur Rahman alias Nayan, 25, son of Mazhar Ali, hailing from Kurigram; Faisal Mahmud, 26, son of Sayedul Haque, hailing from Senbag of Noakhali; and Showkat Rasel, 26, son of Nurul Amin, hailing from Moyeshkhali of Cox’s Bazar. All of them were allegedly JMB members.
During interrogation, they apparently told the police that their leader, Chittagong unit commander Raisul Islam alias Fardin, also used to be a physics student at CU. Fardin was killed in an explosion. Police submitted a charge-sheet against the trio on February 4 this year and they are now behind bars.
On July 25, while conducting a drive at the Momenbag Housing Society of the city, police arrested four members of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Of them, three were CU students and one was studying at Chittagong College.
These four are Faisal Bin Aziz alias Ador, 24, of Cox’s Bazar and a third-year statistics student; Sultan Mohammad Khan alias Bidyut, 29,of Pabna district and a fourth-year BBA student; Ariful Islam, 24,of Chokoria in Cox’s Bazar district and a fourth-year student of Islamic history; and Fakrul Abedin, 26,of Banshkhali upazila of Chittagong and a student at Chittagong College.